WhatsApp's privacy policy update deadline ends soon. What does this Signal?

WhatsApp's privacy policy update deadline ends soon. What does this Signal?

As Facebook-owned WhatsApp's privacy policy update deadline ends, users across the globe are anxious on what happens if they do not accept it.

In January this year, WhatsApp had informed users about the changes in its terms of service and public policy through an in-app notification. Users were initially given time till February 8 to agree to the new terms in order to continue using the platform. The deadline was then extended to May 15.

WhatsApp's on What Next

WhatsApp has clarified users will not lose their accounts on the platform on May 15.

But users will have to eventually go through limited functions if they fail to accept the new norms in the due course of time.

This will happen only after after “persistent reminders,” it said.

“After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven't had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent,” WhatsApp said in an FAQ update.

After persistent reminders, the users will encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until they accept the updates.

This will not happen to all users at the same time.

“You won't be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call,” WhatsApp warned.

After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won't be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.

“No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15 because of this update,” the company informed.

For the last several weeks, WhatsApp has been displaying a notification to its users providing more information about the update.

After a backlash to the controversial policy, the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT had urged the messaging platform to withdraw the change.

Several industry groups had also raised concerns over the changes to the privacy policy.

So, WhatsApp is expected to send reminders to accept the new policy and gradually start disabling some features for users who do not accept the new privacy policy.

This essentially means users may not have access to chat lists. The functionality will be limited to read or reply to messages when a notification props up.

It could gradually stop sending messages and calls also.

Concerns, issues

The main concern is the policy allows data sharing of WhatsApp users with Facebook, its parent company, and group firms.

However, there is a user backlash over WhatsApp's alleged sharing of user information with Facebook globally.

WhatsApp has insisted that the acceptance of the privacy policy update does not expand its ability to share user data with Facebook.

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp, and the platform - as per government data - has 53 crore users in the country.

India is the messaging platform's biggest market, accounting for 53 crore users as per government data.

The country is the world's second-largest telecom market and the biggest consumer of data.

The popularity of rivals like Telegram and Signal has surged as users thronged these platforms following the backlash faced by WhatsApp.

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